Chelan Lakeshore Trail

A sunny and warm backpack in April and May when the Puget Sound is gloomy, this rolling 18 mile trail from Prince Creek to Stehekin delivers constantly changing views of Lake Chelan.

getting there

Take the Lady of the Lake boat from Chelan or Fields Point and request to disembark at the whistle stop on the gravel fan at the base of the Prince Creek drainage.

on the trail

Hardy souls can hike up Prince Creek in mid summer to the top of the ridge for some high rambling!  For those just wanting to soak up unending lake views, wildflowers and warmth without too much sweat, just turn northwest and follow the Chelan Lakeshore for all that and more: 

  • Vistas from high bluffs
  • Roaring early-season streams and waterfalls, a swim in (very!) chilly snowmelt lake water
  • The Golden West Visitors Center and North Cascades Lodge in Stehekin -- beer!  burgers and fries!),
  • A chance to while away a day or two renting bikes or hiking up the Stehekin River valley.


  • Watch out for crowds on most Friday and Saturday mornings in May. Many people have the same idea you do!  This is a great one for mid-week, but watch the boat schedule! 
  • Avoid the dog days of summer when the sun can beat down just too hot and the rattlesnakes come out to visit.
  • Established camps are few and small along the trail, and often taken up by trail crews or people who arrive by boat. The spacious Moore Point camp is an exception.  Keep an eye up and downhill for flat benches in the trees near some of the creeks, and you'll find plenty of flat spots for your tent.
  • If you're in Stehekin, consider a 5-mile day hike south along the lakeshore.

Information for Leaders

Scheduling & Permits

  • This route allows multiple bookings. Please check scheduled trips listed below in the "Activities" tab to see if there is another group already booked on the same day. Leaders are expected to contact the leader(s) of existing trips to ensure there are no concerns or conflicts, according to The Mountaineers Outdoor Ethics Policy. Please review our Group Size & Multiple Bookings page for guidance.
  • Suitable Activities: Backpacking
  • Seasons: March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Moderate/Strenuous
  • Length: 17.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 4,000 ft
  • 1,700 ft
  • Land Manager: North Cascades National Park
  • Parking Permit Required: None
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
  • Green Trails Prince Creek No. 115
  • Green Trails Lucerne No. 114
  • Green Trails Stehekin No. 82
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